Discussion:
Interesting retro-review of Spaceway Magazine June 1954
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Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-08-23 13:58:50 UTC
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http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313

No big names, some typical atomic angst, and at least one hidden gem:

The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.

The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Jack Bohn
2018-08-23 15:42:51 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer.
I read Harmon's _The Great Radio Heroes_, _The Great Radio Comedians_, and _The Great Movie Serials_ from my local library when I was a kid.
--
-Jack
D B Davis
2018-08-23 16:43:33 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
The picture of Howard's SF/F Magazines shown at the link is similar to
the SF nook in my office, except my magazines are stored on higher, home
made, shelves. Sometimes my muse moves me to pull down an old magazine
at random to read it. That's why the September 1979 issue of _analog_
now sits on my desktop.
That issue contains "The Malodorous Plutocrats" (Stewart). The
story's peppered with either double entendres or deeper meanings,
depending upon how you look at it. The Stewart also mentions Deneb, one
of three stars that belong to the Summer Triangle asterism.
Kinoy's _X Minus One_ adaption of "Colony" (PKD) mentions Aldebaran,
one of six stars that belong to the Winter Hexagon asterism. Aldebaran
does not appear in the original PKD.
A couple of web pages need to be built by me one of these days, real
soon now. One to enumerate all of the SF stories that mention stars in
the Summer Triangle. And another to list all of the Winter Hexagon sfnal
stories.



Thank you,
--
Don
Greg Goss
2018-08-24 08:01:51 UTC
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Post by D B Davis
Kinoy's _X Minus One_ adaption of "Colony" (PKD) mentions Aldebaran,
one of six stars that belong to the Winter Hexagon asterism.
...
Post by D B Davis
A couple of web pages need to be built by me one of these days, real
soon now. One to enumerate all of the SF stories that mention stars in
the Summer Triangle. And another to list all of the Winter Hexagon sfnal
stories.
A friend in the eighties despaired of ever teaching me the names of
stars. Other than Polaris (which I already knew) all that remains of
where he pointed was "arc to Arcturus" and Vega.

Anyhow, Aldebaran brings you Pohl's Narabedla Ltd.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
William Hyde
2018-08-24 22:47:27 UTC
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Post by Greg Goss
Post by D B Davis
Kinoy's _X Minus One_ adaption of "Colony" (PKD) mentions Aldebaran,
one of six stars that belong to the Winter Hexagon asterism.
...
Post by D B Davis
A couple of web pages need to be built by me one of these days, real
soon now. One to enumerate all of the SF stories that mention stars in
the Summer Triangle. And another to list all of the Winter Hexagon sfnal
stories.
A friend in the eighties despaired of ever teaching me the names of
stars. Other than Polaris (which I already knew) all that remains of
where he pointed was "arc to Arcturus" and Vega.
Siriusly?

William Hyde
Kevrob
2018-08-24 22:51:33 UTC
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Post by William Hyde
Post by Greg Goss
A friend in the eighties despaired of ever teaching me the names of
stars. Other than Polaris (which I already knew) all that remains of
where he pointed was "arc to Arcturus" and Vega.
Siriusly?
One can't be Veg-a `bout things like that.

Kevin R
(Always wants to deport those damned vegans to Vega,
"where they came from!)
Greg Goss
2018-08-24 23:03:58 UTC
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Post by William Hyde
Post by Greg Goss
Post by D B Davis
Kinoy's _X Minus One_ adaption of "Colony" (PKD) mentions Aldebaran,
one of six stars that belong to the Winter Hexagon asterism.
...
Post by D B Davis
A couple of web pages need to be built by me one of these days, real
soon now. One to enumerate all of the SF stories that mention stars in
the Summer Triangle. And another to list all of the Winter Hexagon sfnal
stories.
A friend in the eighties despaired of ever teaching me the names of
stars. Other than Polaris (which I already knew) all that remains of
where he pointed was "arc to Arcturus" and Vega.
Siriusly?
Sure, I know the NAMES of many more, but I couldn't point to them
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Default User
2018-08-23 17:25:15 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?


Brian
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-08-23 17:28:05 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?
Brian
Howell namechecks Retief, but, yeah I was thinking Slippery Jim too.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Default User
2018-08-23 18:32:06 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?
Howell namechecks Retief, but, yeah I was thinking Slippery Jim too.
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.


Brian
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2018-08-23 18:35:30 UTC
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Post by Default User
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?
Howell namechecks Retief, but, yeah I was thinking Slippery Jim too.
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.
Brian
I don't think there was. The first story was more serious, but it was
late in his career. I think Laumer was trying to do something about
the importance of Port Royal (Retief's homeworld) that may have hinted
at some origin story, but it was post stroke and too incoherent to make
much sense.
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-30 22:47:52 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.
I don't think there was. The first story was more serious, but it was
late in his career.
I've spent some quality time with the ISFBD over the last few days,
trying to figure out which is the first Retief story. The answer that
I've come up with is "Palace Revolution"/"Gambler's World", with an
initial publication date of 1961-11.

Did I nail it?
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
I think Laumer was trying to do something about
the importance of Port Royal (Retief's homeworld) that may have hinted
at some origin story, but it was post stroke and too incoherent to make
much sense.
Upon re-reading this, did you did "late in his career" mean "late in
Laumer's career", with the implication that "first story" meant "first
in internal chronology"?
--
Michael F. Stemper
Deuteronomy 10:18-19
Ahasuerus
2018-08-30 23:15:32 UTC
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Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.
I don't think there was. The first story was more serious, but it was
late in his career.
I've spent some quality time with the ISFBD over the last few days,
trying to figure out which is the first Retief story. The answer that
I've come up with is "Palace Revolution"/"Gambler's World", with an
initial publication date of 1961-11.
Did I nail it? [snip]
The first Retief story was "Diplomat-at-Arms" (January 1960) -- see
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?80873

It's not a typical Retief story and, as Ted said, it shows us Retief
as an older man. The full text is available at
https://www.baen.com/Chapters/0671318578/0671318578___1.htm
Michael F. Stemper
2018-08-31 19:10:32 UTC
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Post by Ahasuerus
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.
I don't think there was. The first story was more serious, but it was
late in his career.
I've spent some quality time with the ISFBD over the last few days,
trying to figure out which is the first Retief story. The answer that
I've come up with is "Palace Revolution"/"Gambler's World", with an
initial publication date of 1961-11.
Did I nail it? [snip]
The first Retief story was "Diplomat-at-Arms" (January 1960) -- see
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?80873
Not sure how I missed it on the main Laumer page. It's strange that it
wouldn't be included in a collection titled: _Retief: Diplomat at Arms_.
Normally, I'd blame Baen for this kind of behavior, but they were only
a republisher.
Post by Ahasuerus
It's not a typical Retief story and, as Ted said, it shows us Retief
as an older man. The full text is available at
https://www.baen.com/Chapters/0671318578/0671318578___1.htm
Bookmarked, with thanks!
--
Michael F. Stemper
Evers for governor.
Ahasuerus
2018-08-31 19:31:28 UTC
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Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Ahasuerus
Post by Michael F. Stemper
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by Default User
Retief perhaps a throwback, but not working for the CDT involuntarily
that I recall. I don't recall there being an origin story for Retief?
Was there? It would interesting to see how he came to working as a
diplomat in the first place.
I don't think there was. The first story was more serious, but it was
late in his career.
I've spent some quality time with the ISFBD over the last few days,
trying to figure out which is the first Retief story. The answer that
I've come up with is "Palace Revolution"/"Gambler's World", with an
initial publication date of 1961-11.
Did I nail it? [snip]
The first Retief story was "Diplomat-at-Arms" (January 1960) -- see
http://www.isfdb.org/cgi-bin/title.cgi?80873
Not sure how I missed it on the main Laumer page. It's strange that it
wouldn't be included in a collection titled: _Retief: Diplomat at Arms_.
Normally, I'd blame Baen for this kind of behavior, but they were only
a republisher. [snip]
It's possible that the editor thought that the story wouldn't have been
a good fit for what was otherwise a collection of humorous shorts.

Also, keep in mind that Laumer was still very much alive and active at
the time. Given his strong opinions and the way he expressed them
post-stroke, there is a good chance that his preferences influenced
the decision.

d***@gmail.com
2018-08-23 18:53:19 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?
Brian
Howell namechecks Retief, but, yeah I was thinking Slippery Jim too.
I was thinking of the character in Lloyd Biggel's "On the Dotted Line", a salesman from the past in a world where salesmanship and its techniques have become obsolete.

On further thought, the character brought forward in "The Marching Morons" is also relevant.

-DES
Robert Carnegie
2018-08-23 20:28:27 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313
The second novelette is The Uncompromising People by Jim
Harmon. Harmon, too, is an interesting guy, known at one
time as Mr. Nostalgia. He was also a good writer. I rather
enjoyed The Uncompromising People and it had seeds that
might very well have influenced other writers.
The story is that Calvin Thomas Moss is a throwback to a
sneakier time. He is a conman, a thief, and all-around
scoundrel in a time when people have become more honest.
That means that he is useful to those in power who need
those skills, and once he got caught for a scheme, he was
under their thumb.
Conceptual ancestor for the Stainless Steel Rat?
Brian
I too was thinking, "The Cast-Iron Cad", although that
might belong to 1854; Charles Dickens' science fiction
magazine _The Orbital Period_ may have run it:-)
Ahasuerus
2018-08-23 19:04:00 UTC
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On Thursday, August 23, 2018 at 9:58:54 AM UTC-4, Ted Nolan <tednolan>
http://robhowell.org/blog/?p=1313 [snip-snip]
Most of the material came from Forrest Ackerman's agency, which meant
that a high proportion of it was either by minor writers of limited
talent or by old-time writers whose heyday had passed.
which is reasonable, but there is another thing to keep in mind.

_Spaceway_ was launched in December 1953. 1953 was the "peak magazine
science fiction" year in the US: the number of individual issues went
from 137 in 1952 to 176 in 1953 and then back to 136 in 1954. What it
meant, among other things (see John Foyster's analysis in "The
Science Fiction Magazine in 1953 (Part 1)" in eFNAC 20,
http://efanzines.com/eFNAC/files/efnac20.pdf), was that there was so
much demand for science fiction stories that many SF writers were
able to publish borderline works which may not have found a publisher
in a regular year. It had, one assumes, an effect on the availability
of quality stories in early 1954.
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